Granger on Film: Tip sheet for the upcoming Academy Awards

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 19: Oscars signage is seen during preparations for the 93rd Annual Academy Awards on April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 19: Oscars signage is seen during preparations for the 93rd Annual Academy Awards on April 19, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Amy Sussman / Getty Images

The Oscars have always been a time capsule, reflecting the year in which they were released. Consider the choice of “The Best Years of Our lives” (1946), as people were recovering from the stress and challenges of WWII, or “Midnight Cowboy” (1969), reflecting society’s sexual confusion.

While “The Trial of the Chicago 7” was set in the past, it matches current outrage at government lies and manipulation. In “Mank,” screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman) delivers a damning, revealing monologue at one of William Randolph Hearst’s dazzling dinners before he’s escorted out.

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “The United States vs Billie Holiday” revolve around strong Black women who insist on singing the songs they want to sing — the way they want to sing them. The position Black artists find themselves in is a particular concern to both women.

Chloe Zhao’s “Nomadland” follows one woman’s spiritual journey, centered on community and compassion. It evokes memories of John Ford’s “Grapes of Wrath” (1941), which followed the Joad family from Oklahoma’s Dust Bowl, heading to California during the Great Depression.

Diversity and inclusion are paramount factors this year.

Here are the nominees and some predictions on who will win:

Nominees for Best Picture: “The Father,” “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Mank,” “Minari,” “Nomadland,” “Promising Young Woman,” “Sound of Metal,” “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

My prediction: “Nomadland”

Nominees for Best Director: Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”), Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”), David Fincher (“Mank”), Thomas Vinterberg (“Another Round”), Chloe Zhao (“Nomadland”)

My prediction: Chloe Zhao

Nominees for Best Actor: Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”), Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”), Gary Oldman (“Mank”), Steven Yeun (“Minari”). If I were voting, it would be for Anthony Hopkins…but I am not an Oscar voter.

My prediction: Chadwick Boseman

Nominees for Best Actress: Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), Andra Day (“The United States vs Billie Holiday”), Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”), Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”), Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”). If I were voting, it would be for Frances McDormand.

My prediction: Viola Davis

Nominees for Best Supporting Actor: Sacha Baron Cohen (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”), Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”), Leslie Odom Jr. (“One Night in Miami”), Paul Raci (“Sound of Metal”), LaKeith Stanield (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)

My prediction: Daniel Kaluuya

Nominees for Best Supporting Actress: Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”), Glenn Close (“Hillbilly Elegy”), Olivia Colman (“The Father”), Amanda Seyfried (“Mank”), Youn Yuh-jung (“Minari”)

My prediction: Youn Yuh-jung

Nominees for Best Adapted Screenplay: Ramin Bahrani (“The White Tiger”), Sacha Baron Cohen (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”), Kemp Powers (“One Night in Miami”), Florian Zeller & Christopher Hampton (“The Father”), Chloe Zhao (“Nomadland”)

My prediction: Chloe Zhao

Nominees for Best Original Screenplay: Will Berson, Shaka King, Keith Lucas & Kenny Lucas (“Judas and the Black Messiah”); Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”); Derek Cianfrance, Abraham Marder, Darius Marder (“Sound of Metal”); Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”), Aaron Sorkin (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”)

My prediction: Emerald Fennell

Nominees for Best Animated Feature: “Onward,’ “Over the Moon,’ “Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon,” “Soul,” “Wolfwalkers.”

My prediction: “Soul”

Nominees for Best International Feature: “Another Round,” “Better Days,” Collective,” “The Man Who Sold His Skin,” “Quo Vadis, Aida?”

My prediction: “Another Round”

Nominees for Best Documentary: “Collective,” “Crip Camp,” “The Mole Agent,” “My Octopus Teacher,’ “Time.” While “Time” fits the ‘diversity/inclusion’ concept, “My Octopus Teacher” is my choice.

My prediction: “My Octopus Teacher”

Nominees for Best Cinematography: Sean Bobbitt (“Judas and the Black Messiah”), Erik Messerschmid (“Mank”), Phedon Papamichael (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”), Joshua James Richards (“Nomadland”), Darius Wolski (“News of the World”).

My prediction: “Mank”

Nominees for Best Costume Design: “Emma,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “Mank,” “Mulan,” “Pinocchio”

My prediction: “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Nominees for Best Film Editing: “The Father,” “Nomadland,” “Promising Young Woman,” “Sound of Metal,” The Trial of the Chicago 7”

My prediction: “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Nominees for Best Production Design: “The Father,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “Mank,” “News of the World,” “Tenet”

My prediction: “Mank”

Nominees for Best Makeup & Hairstyling: “Emma,” “Hillbilly Elegy,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “Mank,” “Pinocchio”

My prediction: “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Nominees for Best Visual Effects: “Love and Monsters,” “The Midnight Sky,” ”Mulan,” “The One and Only Ivan,” “Tenet”

My prediction: “Tenet”

Nominees for Best Sound: “Greyhound,” “Mank,” “News of the World,” “Soul,” “Sound of Metal”

My prediction: “Sound of Metal”

Nominees for Best Original Score: “Da 5 Bloods,” “Mank,” “Minari,” “News of the World,” “Soul”

My prediction: “Soul”

Nominees for Best Original Song: “Fight For You” (“Judas and the Black Messiah”), “Hear My Voice” (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”), “Husavik” (“Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga”), “Io Si” (“The Life Ahead”), “Speak Now” (“One Night in Miami”). I would choose “Io Si.”

My prediction: “Speak Now”

Nominees for Short Subjects — Best Documentary: “Colette,” “A Concert Is a Conversation,” “Do Not Split,” “Hunger World,” “A Love Song for Latasha”

My prediction: “A Love Song for Latasha”

Nominees for Short Subjects — Best Animated: “Burrow,” “Genius Loci,” “If Anything Happens I Love You,” “Opera,” “Yes-People”

My prediction: “If Anything Happens I Love You”

Nominees for Short Subjects — Best Live Action: “Feeling Through,” “The Letter Room,” “The Present,” “Two Distant Strangers,” “White Eye”

My prediction: “The Letter Room”

You can watch the Oscars on April 25 on ABC.

Susan Granger has been an on-air television and radio commentator and entertainment critic for more than 25 years. Raised in Hollywood, Granger appeared as a child actress in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, and Lassie. She currently resides in Westport.